Arrangements are in place to ensure your electricity and gas supply continues even if your current retailer can no longer provide it.
What happens if your energy retailer goes out of business
You don’t need to worry about your electricity or gas supply being cut off, even if your energy retailer goes out of business.
Energy is an essential service, so are arrangements in place to ensure supply of electricity and gas continues, even if a retailer is unable to provide it.
Retailer of last resort
Each property has a designated ‘retailer of last resort’ based on which energy distribution area it is located in.
Your retailer of last resort is required to provide you with electricity or gas if your existing provider can’t do so.
This could occur if:
- we revoke the energy retailer’s licence
- the retailer does not have sufficient funds to purchase electricity or gas from the wholesale market and has their right to do so suspended by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
Depending on where your property is, your retailer of last resort will be either:
- Origin Energy.
In the unlikely event that a designated retailer of last resort fails, customers will be divided between the other two.
Electricity retailer of last resort
Find out which electricity distribution zone you are in using the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning's electricity distribution zone map.
|Electricity distributor||Retailer of last resort|
Gas retailer of last resort
|Gas distributor||Retailer of last resort|
What happens when you are transferred to a retailer of last resort
If your energy retailer goes out of business, you will be automatically transferred to your retailer of last resort.
Your energy supply will not be disrupted and you do not need to do anything.
Your retailer of last resort will contact you in writing with details. They will explain:
- the start date of the new arrangements
- the terms and conditions of the new contract, including prices
Customers transferred to a retailer of last resort are placed on contracts with terms and conditions that we have approved. You can stay with this retailer or choose a new one that serves your area.
You can transfer from your new arrangements at any time.
Customers who had recently transferred to or from the failed retailer
Any customers with pending transfers to the failed retailer will remain with their previous retailer.
If you receive a retailer of last resort notice but had already switched to a new retailer, you should contact the retailer of last resort.
Retailer of last resort fee
Customers transferred to a retailer of last resort may incur a one-off fee ($36 per gas account, $65 per electricity account), to cover costs incurred by the retailer of last resort. This includes:
- the retailer of last resort’s administrative costs
- risks and costs associated with taking over responsibility for the purchase of electricity and gas on short notice from the failed retailer.
Settling bills from a failed retailer
You will receive a final bill from the failed retailer for energy used up until the transfer to the retailer of last resort.
A failed retailer, or their administrator, are required to immediately cancel all direct debits that are in place, and notify your financial institution of the cancellation. You can contact your financial institution to confirm the cancellation.
The retailer of last resort will then bill you for energy used from the date you are transferred to them.
If you were disputing a bill from the failed retailer, you should contact them directly. They or their administrator should have processes in place for handling unresolved customer complaints.
If you are dissatisfied with their response, contact the Energy and Water Ombudsman of Victoria (EWOV).
Notify the retailer of last resort if you had a feed-in tariff arrangement with the failed retailer. They will determine your eligibility for feed-in tariffs.
The failed retailer is required to apply any credits still owed to you to your account or pay the outstanding amount. However, if they are in, or go into, liquidation, you may only receive some, or none, of the money owed.
Large electricity customers
Large electricity customers (using more than 160MWh per year) can nominate a retailer of last resort to the Australian Energy Market Operator before the retailer of last resort event occurs.
If no retailer of last resort has been nominated, one will be appointed. Terms and conditions of energy supply from the retailer of last resort will be available on its website.
You are free to transfer at any time from your new retailer to another one, or to negotiate a retail contract with your new retailer. If you do not terminate the supply arrangements with the retailer of last resort, or do not enter into a retail contract with them, they may terminate the supply arrangements after six months.